Media Release: MSL NASATweetup

11 11 2011




Urbana, Illinois Resident is One of 150 Selected to Attend NASA Tweetup for Mars Rover Launch, November 23 and 25, 2011

NASA Twitter Followers Will Tweet from Kennedy Space Center, Fla.

Urbana, Illinois (November 9, 2011) – NASA will bring together 150 Twitter followers to NASA’s Kennedy Space Center for a two-day Tweetup, November 23 and 25, 2011. The Tweetup is expected to culminate in the launch of the Mars Science Laboratory Curiosity rover aboard a United Launch Alliance Atlas V 541 from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida. Urbana, Illinois resident Susan Johnson-Roehr has been selected as one of 150 @NASA Twitter followers to attend and Tweet the event. Curiosity is anticipated to arrive at the Red Planet’s Gale crater in August 2012.

During the two-year mission, the rover will investigate whether a selected area of Mars offered environmental conditions favorable for microbial life and will preserve evidence about life if it existed.

As a NASA Tweetup attendee, Johnson-Roehr and the other 149 Twitter users will interact with engineers and scientists as well as tour the Kennedy Space Center. If all goes as scheduled, participants will view the spacecraft launch. In addition, participants will meet other tweeps and members of NASA’s social media team. Attendees were selected through a lottery system in which more than 1,050 @NASA Twitter followers registered.

“It will be an honor to represent Champaign-Urbana and the University of Illinois at the Tweetup. I checked out my first astronomy book from the public library in my hometown in 1979 and I’ve been following the U.S. space program ever since.  Being part of the NASA Tweetup means I’ll be meeting the people that make planetary exploration programs like the Mars Science Laboratory successful,” Johnson-Roehr said. “Plus, I’ll get to interact with 149 other attendees who share my interest in astronomy and space exploration. We’ll all be chronicling our NASA Tweetup experience for our followers on Twitter and through various Internet and social media sites.”

Susan Johnson-Roehr is a Visiting Lecturer in the School of Architecture at University of Illinois, where she specializes in the history of astronomy and architecture. Follow her Tweets at

NASA Tweetup participants are traveling from across the United States and the globe to attend. View the list of list of registered attendees on the NASA Tweetup Twitter account:

NASA held its first Tweetup on Jan. 21, 2009, at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif. NASA’s Tweetup Twitter account is and participants will be using #NASATweetup in their updates while tweeting. Information about NASA Tweetup can be viewed on .

About the Mars Science Laboratory Mission
Managed by NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif., Mars Science Laboratory is the fourth space mission launching this year. Aquarius, launched June 10 to study ocean salinity, was the first; Juno, launched Aug. 5 to study the origins and interior of Jupiter; and the twin GRAIL orbiters, which departed for the moon on Sept. 10. The MLS Curiosity rover is equipped with 10 science instruments and will search Mars for evidence it has had environments favorable for microbial life. The rover will use a laser to look inside rocks and release the gasses so that its spectrometer can analyze and send the data back to Earth. Launch management for the mission is the responsibility of NASA’s Launch Services Program at Kennedy Space Center in Florida. Find additional information about the Mars Science Laboratory mission, visit: and




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